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Death penalty only perpetuates violence, warns Cardinal Tagle

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Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (CBCPNews)

MANILA, Feb. 2, 2017– Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has warned that capital punishment might only fuel a cycle of violence.

The cardinal said the use of the death penalty by the government would only legitimize violence as a solution to problems.

“There is a danger that the death penalty might legitimize the use of violence to deal with every wrongdoing,” Tagle said in a pastoral guidance issued Thursday.

He said that penalties are “not (to) be imposed for vengeance but for correction of offenders and for the good of society.”

According to him, Catholic teaching also opposes death penalty because the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated.

“There is real danger that the death penalty might be applied to an innocent person,” Tagle said.

“We need to reform institutions so they would safeguard justice while preventing the spread of a culture of violence,” he added.

Like other countries that have abandoned the use of death penalty, the cardinal called on lawmakers to instead find other means to suppress crimes while giving offenders the chance to reform.

“We need to reform institutions so they would safeguard justice while preventing the spread of a culture of violence,” he said. “A culture of violence dehumanizes. A culture of justice, integrity, and hope heals.”

Noting that death penalty is not a solution to criminality, Tagle also said that the root causes of the problem must be addressed, including providing solutions to poverty.

“To help solve these roots of criminality, the Church and the state need to protect and strengthen the basic unit of society, which is the family,” he said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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